Manuscripts Lost: Lorn 1999

A couple of years after I moved here, in utter frustration with my lack of storage space (and a number of paper in windother “lacks”) I told myself that if the things in boxes had not been needed for two years, I could do without them.  I further insisted to myself that I’d be more likely to “do something” about the pathetic no-storage situation if I didn’t even look in the boxes.  I had heard or read that advice somewhere.  So I threw out a few dusty boxes without even looking.  As I said, I was very frustrated.

You know what’s coming don’t you?  In one of those boxes were the computer discs for three — count ‘em three nearly finished manuscripts.  The computers on which they were written were long gone.  In another box I found partial hardcopies; extremely incomplete.

My favorite part of writing fantasy is crafting my reader’s first sight of a new world.  Here is the opening for the largest and most complete of those “lost” manuscripts.  The working title for the novel was simply “Lorn,” for one of the kingdoms of that world.


The turbulent depths of the Easterling Sea gave birth to a storm so great in its fury that it hardly seemed natural.  Winds raged across the waters, whales and boat-friends, forerunners of the storm, fled the fury of the tempest.  Rains hammered the already churning waters, as the storm blew across the sea as far as the kingdom of Lorn, where waves battered the rocky coastline above which reigned Castle Pearl.castle Lichtenstein-Baden Würtemberg

The chill damp wind forced its way into marble walls which glowed white even in the gloom. Labyrinthine hallways wove intricate patterns far beneath the foundations of the castle.  Long forgotten chambers whose occupants were not known to living memory, but resided in myth and legend, stood empty, yet exuded a sense of breathless anticipation.

The draft crept up ancient halls, stirring a centuries old coating of dust.  Up spiraling staircases connecting to the “new castle”, the Marshal General was deep in thought.  It had been he who had recommended this site to the king for the palatial fortress.  Now it shone like a great pearl atop a cliff at the edge of the EasterlingSea.

Though the world at that time was peaceful, Jaxus Rafaire knew well that conditions could change suddenly, and he ever had the protection of the king and young princess at heart.  He had chosen the site not for its panoramic views, but for its defensibility, just as some other general of generations gone had done.  As the king’s marshal general, Rafaire had the white marble walls of Castle Pearl built on the remains of that fortress which had long since passed into ruin.  Neither the king nor his general realized at that time that the castle was being built atop construction far older than the ruins they had cleared away.


4 thoughts on “Manuscripts Lost: Lorn 1999

  1. It’s funny that you should say that, RC… in a few scenes I remember making the ancient buildings part of the story. Another race in the world is brought into the story on the next paragraph — a very ancient race. If, as Mary phrased it, I ever bring this story back to life, I think I would re-work it, and give the ancients a larger part.

    I’d probably need to re-work everything. Usually I introduce a story (or do a prologue) in a very high-fantasy tone — like this, and then draw closer to the characters. Once we’re closer to them I change the tone, so that you’re inside their heads. It becomes more personable, more conversational. However, I don’t think I achieved that well with this story. Regardless, that’s a project for another time.


  2. Good start, and excellent descriptions of the weather conditions that I can see and feel the storm. Makes me think of who’s coming to dinner…now that the ancients are waken.


  3. How awful that you lost that work. Oh, the devastation. Lorn is the beginning of something that sounds extraordinary. I hope one day you can find the inspiration to bring this story back to life. Your setting is fabulous and I can picture it clearly. Thanks for sharing.


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